Permanent Mission of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the United Nations

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Venezuela expects to be part of the non-military UN mission in Colombia

2016-03-17

Venezuela expects to take part in the United Nations mission that will help to verify an eventual peace in Colombia, and considers that there should be no obstacle to its aspirations since it is a non-military operation.
This was explained by the Venezuelan Ambassador to the United Nations, Rafael Ramírez, during an interview with EFE; Ambassador Ramírez also said that two other neighboring countries of Colombia –Ecuador and Panama- have also made this request.
Originally, it was believed that bordering countries, such as Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, Brazil, and Panama, would not partake on the mission, according to prior international cases, as it was mentioned by the Colombian President, Juan Manuel Santos, when he made his request to the United Nations.
However, Ramirez considered that “there was confusion at first, given the nature of the mission”
"It is unusual for neighboring countries to take part of missions with armed components, blue helmets, because there is obviously an issue. But this is a special political mission, so there is no armed component” pointed out the Ambassador.
Hence, Venezuela considers that it should also be providing observers to this operation that has already been approved by the Security Council and it is currently being developed by the United Nations Secretariat.
“We have reiterated our request, just like Ecuador and Panama, to join this mission” he said.
“Of course, we understand if the parties do not want us to deploy military forces, but we would like to be part of the mission because we want to verify that it is being fulfilled” added Ramirez, who also recalled the impact the Colombian armed conflict, which has lasted for over 50 years, has had on his country.
The Venezuelan representative to the UN insisted on the importance that the peace process in Colombia continues to be a Latin American initiative.
“The Security Council cannot, and it is not his intention, to take over the process” explained Ramirez, while recalling that the mission will be composed by observers from member countries of the Latin American and Caribbean Community (CELAC), and that Governments as his own have been deeply involved in the efforts to advance towards peace.
The UN inspectors will constitute the international component of the tripartite mechanism to monitor and verify the ceasefire agreed by the parties, with the participation of representatives elected by the Government and by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army (FARC) which have been in negotiations since 2012 in Cuba.

The mission will officially get under way after the definite signing of peace, with a mandate for 12 months that could be extended upon the parties’ request. EFE


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